Purpose amid the pageantry?


Saddle the horses, polish the brass, dig out the tiaras.

This was the day Her Majesty travelled down the road from the Palace to Parliament to open its new session...the day when, beyond all the ceremony, the Queen had one simple job - to read out her government's "to-do list" for the year ahead... the day the government must try to impose a theme on 15 disparate proposed new laws.

In truth, the year in politics will not be shaped by any of them. What will stir political passions is what concerns people outside - the state of the economy and of family finances. That, this government believes, is less about legislation and more about government actions.

No wonder Her Majesty began with these words: "My ministers' first priority will be to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability."

What stirs passions at Westminster but not outside is reform of the House of Lords.

Many Tory MPs who doubt the wisdom of embarking on something which has proved impossible for the past century were reassured by the promise simply to bring forward proposals, NOT to drive through change.

David Cameron is painfully aware of the dangers of proposals on this and more besides which look at odds with the anger and the aspirations of voters increasingly disenchanted with their politicians.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    IPG @ 116

    'The Big Short' by Michael Lewis - a well-written book which really delves into what went on. Also that excellent recent documentary (forget the title but I think it's narrated by Matt Damon).

    Truly a scam for the ages: main culprits not only unpunished but still sitting pretty on their fat ill-gottens.

  • rate this

    Comment number 116.

    No106 John,
    You are right John. It was more than 'Sub- Prime' it was CDO's, CDS's, SIV's, massive fraud and a host of other toxic financial products orchestrated by greedy, incompetent ,irresponsible, reckless 'socially useless' bankers operating from the City of London and Wall Street. Do you think they need to be eradicated?Will you join the fight?

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    #114 pd

    Saw that one coming...

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    112 Oh, OK. Same applies to Iraq I guess.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.


    :- )

    Ok BG, yes, good idea: I agree to disagree utterly with Robin.

    Any case, it's John Harris's fault. He keeps saying that the rise of China means we have to dismantle our welfare state.

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    S, JH, pd, rR, etc.

    Financial crisis:
    Can you lot just agree to disagree?
    Unless new CCTV footage of Gordon Brown destroying the economy is found or medical studies show that an unethical and high risk financial practices virus, contracted from South American monkeys, was brought over here by US investment bankers... then nothing will change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    Painful as it may be, the process we are going through will lead to improvements. If you doubt that... you do not understand the nature of the UK's people. Admirably patient up to a point - but not to be denied when roused.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    Just what we need to deal with the 'crisis' - nearly a thousand unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative individuals lying around like butchers dogs waiting to pick up their hundreds of pounds 'daily attendance allowance'. Reformed H of L? It should be bulldozed at the first opportunity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    jh @ 106

    More to it, for sure, but those two factors (bonus culture and US mortgage bonds) feature strongly.

    Frantic chase for yield using artificially cheap money (facilitated by East West imbalances + the Fed's lax monetary policy / misplaced faith in the efficacy of financial markets), together with an explosion in derivatives which few understood.


    That's my umbrella in 400.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    Pageantry @104?
    & Purpose @106?

    What should 'voters' make of such elevated analysis: "the need to recycle Chinese manufacturing surpluses"?

    Comfort for Europe: no place to go but up, from "uncompetitive & broken"?

    Do we argue crisis contributions because Fear & Greed are 'givens'?

    (Or my party right & wrong?)

    So attached to Conflict of Interest, debarred from Equal Partnership?

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    JH66 To be pedantic (and why not?) I said the BANKING crisis had subprime stamped all over it, not the entire financial crisis. The banks thought they'd found a risk-free way to make risky loans via securitization. Their folly was spectacularly exposed when the subprime sector in the US went bad. Your 104 may also be true.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    #49 pd65 "And yet the unthinking ones still try to blame Labour for the banking crisis, which had US subprime stamped all over it"

    Not sure who's guilty of not thinking - see my #104 below.

    The financial crisis is, was, and will be far more than "US subprime" (pd65) or "bankers' bonuses" (Sagamix)

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    ALL problems of UK - Iraq, Murdochs, expenses scandal, rogue govts exceeding mandates, boom n bust, back stabbing Mr & Mrs average etc etc - all relate to 'purpose' & that means constitutional questions of who, why, where and how - a better & written definition of 'purpose' would ensure that those in power are aware of how to act properly at all times WHEN IN POWER as avoids most 'lesson learning'

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    Problems in the global financial system were, to a significant extent and increasingly after 2000, due to the need to recycle Chinese manufacturing surpluses back to Western consumers to pay for yet more Chinese goods.

    The Asian Revolution in the world economic order is now being played out in the bond markets.

    The European Economic Model (excepting Germany) is uncompetitive and broken.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    Many in the House of Lords & Commons have special interests in seeing out country privatised. Both parliaments should be shut and investigated thoroughly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    97 An accurate reporting of the results would be good.Accurate results given for England and Wales.But not for Scotland.Comments allowed for Nick Robinson's and Betsan Powys' blogs.But not for Scottish Political Editor Brian Taylor's blog.Nice pattern emerging.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    97 So what. Would you prefer the more accurrate headline from the scottish elections.
    70% of voters in Scotland couldn't give a stuff about any of the parties on offer at these elections, desipte all the extra powers these councils have.
    or the analysis:
    Liberal Democrat collapse flatters all other parties results.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    "Why on earth does the BBC provide special pages for so few people - "



  • rate this

    Comment number 99.


    Why on earth does the BBC provide special pages for so few people - scotland is nearly empty, what is there to put on these pages?

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    Robin, you do honestly and truly not appreciate the irony in what you're saying (about austerity and the need for deep spending cuts and all the rest of it) ??

    You don't?

    Well all I can say then is that one of us must be barking mad.


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